The birth of the hip sound began when bassist Peter Brown hung up a flyer around Purdue University's campus in January of 1999. Brown had left a previous band several months earlier, and after countless hours playing his bass while listening to the radio or along with his favorite CD's, the itch to create with other musicians pushed him to try his luck at finding new people to play with. After trying out with several bands, Brown received the call that he had been waiting on. Drummer David Burford called Peter Brown one night and in a cloud of colorful metaphors and obvious enthusiasm, convinced Brown to sit in with he and a guitar playing friend of his to check it out. The following weekend they got together and played for the first time. While not impressed with the other musicians present, Brown couldn't deny the instant musical connection that he and Burford possessed the moment they started playing. After a short jam session, Brown left and told Burford that he would keep in touch. A few days later, Brown received another response to his flyer. James Bryan Graves had just broken up with his successful swing/ska band Moffett weeks before and was looking to start a new project. Upon suggestion of a friend, Graves contacted Brown and they planned to meet and play with a drummer who had also responded to Brown's add. Graves' unique tone and style of guitar clicked with Browns funk-laden bass riffage and soon they were discussing plans to get a band together. As they were unsatisfied with the drummer they had jammed with, Brown suggested that they get together with Burford, with whom he had played with weeks before. When the three finally met and played together, a magical fusion of rhythm, melody, and energy filled the room. Improvising together, the three played long into the night, creating songs that just seemed to flow out of their common love for music.
For the first months of Groove Hop's existence, the lead vocal position was filled by Eric Good. After a few months the band decided that it could do better, and began auditioning other people to fill the spot. Jon Varner immediately caught the trio's attention only because he actually showed up to the audition. However, once Varner began to demonstrate his skills on the mic, and showed that he had enthusiasm for the music, Brown, Graves, and Burford decided he was the man with the plan.
With the new lineup completed, the band began to rehearse songs and write new material. Within a month, they were in shape to begin playing shows. After an electrifying first performance on Halloween of '99, Groove Hop became one of the most in-demand bands at Purdue University.
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